Course Overview

The Certificate/Diploma in Community Development Practice are part-time programmes, designed to enable community activists gain a thorough understanding of community development combined with the practical skills necessary to work effectively in development work.

The Certificate/Diploma programme has previously been delivered in Northern Ireland in response to demand.  We would hope to offer this option again in the future, should there be sufficient interest.  Individuals who wish to apply for the Northern Ireland option can do so at the under Applications and selections.  Next intake TBC.

See presentation below on the Impact of Community Development Voyage across borders with Adult Learners by Helen Casey, Community Education Officer, NUI Galway.

Applications and Selections

Apply Online Certificate in Community Development Practice

Apply Online Diploma in Community Development Practice

The closing date is 22 September 2017.

We advise you to apply early, as applications will be reviewed, and decisions sent to applicants as follows:

Round 1:              Friday, June 30th 2017
Round 2:              Friday, 25th August 2017
Round 3:              Friday, 22nd September 2017

A limited number of applications may be accepted after the official application closing date, subject to the availability of places. 

Certificate/Diploma (Northern Ireland)  Next intake TBC

NOTE:  A non-refundable application fee of €30 is to be paid online at time of application for this programme.  This course will run subject to sufficient numbers enrolling.  

Places are limited so application by itself does not guarantee participation on the programme. In the event of over-subscription, applicants may be invited to attend a brief and informal interview, at which they will meet with the Community Education Officers, and selection for a place on the programme will be based upon the information submitted on the individual's application form and their interview.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Classes take place once a week for 3 hours (timeline is dependent on location of delivery). There are also two Saturdays per term when attendance at workshops or fieldtrips are required, and a minimum of 75% attendance per term/overall is mandatory in order to successfully complete the programme.

In addition to the above mentioned attendance requirement, participants will submit assignments for each module (including a profile and a project) and will be required to reach a pass standard in all relevant coursework. Each aspect of the programme will be monitored by the programme board and will be delivered by course tutors who are based locally.


Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have good reading and writing skills, as well as basic IT skills, as independent home study is required. Ideally, applicants should also have some experience (either in a voluntary or professional capacity) of working in a community or voluntary organisation.

There are no special educational requirements for entry to either the Certificate or Diploma course, but applicants should meet the University’s requirements for mature students; see here for further details. Numbers accepted on these courses are limited.

Additional Requirements


8 months, part-time (Certificate); 1 academic year, part-time (Diploma)

Next start date

October 2017

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date


Next start date

October 2017

NFQ level


Mode of study


ECTS weighting

15 (Certificate); 30 (Diploma)



PAC code

Course Outline

Students completing the Certificate programme study three modules which involve a minimum of 120 hours of instruction and assignments.


  • Community Development Theory and Practice
  • Social Analysis 
  • Communication, Group Work and Leadership Skills

Students completing the Diploma programme study six modules and complete a project. The Diploma course involves a minimum of 240 hours of instruction and project work.


  • Community Development Theory and Practice
  • Communication, Group Work and Leadership Skills
  • Research Techniques
  • Social Analysis
  • Public Policy
  • Project Planning, Development and Evaluation

A number of special interest workshops and field trips will be organised during each course throughout the year, reflecting the needs and interests of the course participants. These visits to other community development projects will give participants opportunities to make contact with the practice of community development in other locations.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There are many career opportunities open to graduates of the Certificate and/or Diploma in Community Development Practice programme as it offers a solid practical and theoretical understanding of the community development sector. Some graduates have progressed onto further studies such as the B.A. in Community and Family Studies while other graduates of the Diploma in Community Development Practice have improved their employment prospects in the field of community development.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€500 (Cert); €800 (Diploma) p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€1,000 (Cert); €1,300 (Diploma) p.a.

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment.  Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2017_18 Fees Scholarship Form CALPD for more information.

Find out More

 Course Coordinator 

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island

Tel: 091 495241  

What Our Students Say


Tony Hogan |    

As I work part-time and also volunteer at a Youth Café, I thought this course would help me in my daily activities. As the course progressed, I realised that I would really like to do community work full time, and that this course suited me ideally. I find the workshops and modules easy to understand, and the tutors more than helpful. As I have never attended Third Level education, this is a great way for me to achieve a level of education that, previously, I could only aspire to. I would highly recommend this course to anybody involved or interested in community development.

Olivia Harrington |    

...The reasons I chose the course in Community Development Practice is because I have an interest in working with people and have been volunteering with a few charities and wanted to develop my skills in this area. As it had been over 10 years since I did any formal study, I was apprehensive about going back to college but the learning style of the course suited me and I found the tutors excellent and very supportive. I’m now continuing my studies in the BA Programme in Community and Family Studies. The course gave me great confidence and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in community work...